TARPON SPRINGS - One hundred years ago, the Tarpon Springs Public Library opened up in a little room on the second floor of old City Hall, in the building that now serves as the Cultural Center on South Pinellas Avenue.
Since then, the library has moved locations five times and expanded in size and services exponentially to meet new demands in a digital age. At its core, however, the library remains the same community-supported center of culture, art and education that it always has been.
TARPON SPRINGS - The curtains behind the dais opened at the start of the Tarpon Springs commission meeting May 17 to reveal a stage full of students, eager to receive their certificate for earning a perfect 4.0 GPA in the 2015-16 school year.
The ceremony is a tradition for the city. Parents crowded to the auditorium to watch their children receive the certificate from Mayor Chris Alahouzos and congratulations from the rest of the commission.
Honored for serving as mayor of Enterprise Village, a Pinellas Education Foundation six-week project for fifth graders, were Ethan Abercrombie of Sunset Hills Elementary, Jorden Schutte of Tarpon Springs Elementary and Andrew Larsen of Tarpon Springs Fundamental.
TARPON SPRINGS - The city of Tarpon Springs has begun the process of lobbying for federal funding needed to dredge the Anclote River - maintenance that will keep the waterfront a working port.
The project falls under the responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is eligible for federal funding; it will cost an estimated $4.3 million to restore the channel, explained Bob Robertson, the city's manager for the project during an update to the commission May 3. However, it falls to the city to formally request the maintenance dredging and secure land to dump the dredging spoils at an estimated cost of $750,000 to $1 million.
TARPON SPRINGS - In an effort to address a number of concerns raised by business owners, Tarpon Springs commissioners delayed an update to an ordinance banning solicitation along the Sponge Docks May 3.
The ordinance in question was first established in 2006, “in response to significant problems to solicitation,” said City Attorney Jay Daigneault
“That kind of conduct was putting off tourists, it was causing traffic hazards, pedestrians were being pushed off into sidewalks. There were some significant public safety concerns,” Daigneault said.
TARPON SPRINGS - The sidewalk along Hibiscus Street in downtown Tarpon Springs has been expanded - the latest in three years’ worth of improvements to the side street off Tarpon Avenue.
Business owners along Hibiscus Street - particularly Carol Etheridge-Rodriguez of Timeless Treasures and Sherry Wendt of Gallery of Fun Finds - have been working with the city for about a year to expand the sidewalk. The objective is to give the stores outside seating and tables to display their wares.
TARPON SPRINGS - The city of Tarpon Springs will begin renovating the outside of City Hall at a cost of $2.2 million, a project the city commission approved April 19.
“We’ve probably been putting money away and talking about this for at least five years,” City Manager Mark LeCouris said.
At one point, there was talk about building a new city hall, at a cost of $6 million to $8 million. But the city would still have to maintain the historic school building that houses the city’s Performing Arts Center, LeCouris explained.
TARPON SPRINGS - The Shepherd Center of Tarpon Springs has purchased the 33,000-square-foot building at 304 S. Pinellas Ave.
The purchase, made possible through the nonprofit’s capital campaign, gives the Shepherd Center a permanent home in Tarpon Springs. The purchase was finalized Feb. 25, 2016, according to Pinellas County property records.
TARPON SPRINGS - The city of Tarpon Springs is in the process of developing a Tarpon Springs Contractor and Construction Business Directory, which will be added to all city of Tarpon Springs construction solicitations.
The directory is intended to provide local business resources to those prime contractors submitting bids on city projects. The city believes the use of local contractors and suppliers on city projects is the best way for dollars spent on these construction projects to be put back into the community.
Local businesses that wish to be included in the Contractor and Construction Business Directory should contact Chief Procurement Officer Jay Jackus at 727-943-4871 or firstname.lastname@example.org